When Alex Silvagni was recruited to Carlton last year, many people I spoke to were not too happy about this. He was labelled “dud”, “useless”, “Carlton are going backwards” etc. etc. etc. Yet if you watched him when he played for Fremantle, really watched him, he had the makings of a downright mongrel on the field. He never gave up, gave all that he could and put his body on the line. His running was fantastic. He was however not considered to be a major player in the Fremantle line-up and so was shelved, only to be picked up by Carlton as a rookie.
Manning up against Buddy Franklin, Alex Silvagni or ASOS as he is now being labelled shot to pieces all those who thought he was a dud. He didn’t shoot me as I really believed that he had the makings of a dynamic player down in the backline. He was outstanding. Nay, he was bloody brilliant. His ability to thwart Mr Franklin was incredible, keeping him to only one goal. Not to mention that chase in the last quarter on Brandon Jack that literally saved a sure-fire goal from the Swans.
Sometimes a player who is mediocre in one team but has the signs that he could be sometime completely different in another was shown on Saturday. ASOS was considered nothing special at Fremantle, but is now seen as a vital and integral component in Carlton’s backline.
His “good” was matched with Kade Simpson and Sam Docherty, who dominated around the ground with 31 disposals and one goal for Simmo and Docherty with an amazing 39 disposals. Those who still think that Marc Murphy is not captain material has surely proved them wrong. With 31 disposals he together with Patrick Cripps 27 disposals and one goal, Bryce Gibbs with 23 disposals. But the “bloody brilliance” of another player not rated much in his old club, really showed what I mean.
Matthew Wright! That’s it, just that. A very quiet, unassuming player, Mathew Wright not only had 15 disposals but four sensational goals. Underrated at his old club, he is blossoming at Carlton and proving to be a great swingman. Contracted until the end of this year, he will no doubt be re-signed for Carlton have found a really great player who can be placed anywhere on the ground.
Carlton are not there yet, and given what we saw on Saturday, we are getting there. As Bolts has stated on numerous occasions, this re-growth takes time. It takes time to get our very talented youngsters more experience at a senior level, to play alongside the more experienced players. To know where they fit in and how they will all work together.
The match on Saturday was not a real pretty one, but in the end, that does not matter. For it is the end score when the final siren goes that matters. On Saturday when one minute it was sunny, then raining, then cloudy, the match was simply a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. For in the end, when the final siren rang, a team that was deemed by some to be very bad and ugly showed just how damned good they could and will be in the future. Nothing wrong with that!